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nyxaeth t1_j0a5jrq wrote

Your heart is beating with a mixture of excitement and tension as you reach your hand towards the doorknob. After all, Grandma had always liked practical jokes, so you had your fair share of doubts that the secret, oh-so-great treasure she hid in the attic was actually a prized family heirloom. More likely it was something mundane or a gag object or a weird thingamajig she picked up at some thrift store.

But she had entrusted you with the key, and your curiosity had gotten the better of you. So be it, you think. Even if it is another one of her pranks, it'll be worth it.

When you finally open the door, you don't know whether to laugh or cry.

In front of you is a mirror.

You stare at your reflection in it for a good few minutes, and shake your head, a tender feeling in your chest. Good ol' Grandma. She always had the last word.


Thawsan t1_j0a81lo wrote

Does it make me a psychopath to admit that the first thought to cross my mind upon hearing of my Nan's death was to explore the attic?

No grief.

No mourning.

No crying.

Just curiosity.

I certainly feel like a psychopath. I don't know why those feelings didn't creep in. I loved my Nan. She took me in from birth, raised me, guided me, she is the reason I am who I am and the reason that everyone who knows me feels the way they do about me. She made me.

I should be wailing in my bedroom. I should be stricken with grief. I should be sobbing myself dry. I feel like I should want to do all of those things. But, for some reason, I'm just curious.

Nan's attic has been a mystery for as long as I've been alive. Her greatest treasure, hidden away just above my head. I'd often lay awake as a child, I'd dream of gold coins, of bounty from lands afar, or of ancient treasures from deep below.

As a I grew older, I thought of photo albums, old and irreplaceable documents, of letters from those gone too soon. Items that were sentimental to me, much like my Mother's letter to me or a photo album of my family from long ago.

Now, here I stand, at the top of the ladder, unfeeling but wanting, looking into the darkness of the old attic.

The dusty lightbulb hung above my head, with the chain dangling lowly and softly by my head. Without looking, I reached my hand up and pulled. A dim, warm light filled the area around me. I could see the wooden support beams and nails sticking through the top, holding the roof tiles on. I could see the pink fiberglass insulation that caused childhood pain around the ground. There was the AC unit sitting on a plywood walkway, acting as the desire path of the land, just sturdy enough to support me.

I stood onto the plywood from the ladder. I had to bend over to avoid hitting my head on the roof. It was low, it was dank. I took a step forward toward the A/C unit and looked around. Just ahead, 5 or so steps, I could see the light reflecting back at me. It was another lightbulb.

I moved to it, keeping low, going around the A/C. I stood beside it and pulled. Another dim blast of light. I examined my surroundings once again, but saw nothing.

Then, at the back wall, another reflection. Another light?


I stepped toward the reflection. Then stopped. Movement? My heart skipped a beat for a second, I waited and watched, but saw nothing else.

I took another step and again, movement from the back wall.

I took two more steps, still crouched when my shoulder tapped something. Dangling. Another lightbulb. Without thinking, I reached up and pulled.

The dim light of the three bulbs was enough to now illuminate the whole of this tiny attic. And there was nothing. Nothing but fiberglass, roof nails, lightbulbs, the A/C...

...and this mirror.

I saw myself in the mirror. My hair was disheveled and clothes wrinkled. My eyes looked dark and baggy and my face tired. If Nan saw me right now, I'd get an earful.

If Nan saw me right now, she'd be worried sick.

If Nan saw me right now, she'd take care of me against my wishes, her tender care.

If Nan saw me right now....

I don't know why now, I don't know why here, but seeing myself and thinking of Nan, it hit me.



Tears. Heavy, endless, sad tears.

The mirror. Her greatest treasure. It's not the mirror, it's what's in the mirror.

My bum hit the plywood floor as my hands caught my falling head, dripping, soaked with sadness. I felt everything.

I miss my Nan. I love my Nan.


Willowrosephoenix t1_j0brn9a wrote

Thank you. I experienced similar numbness and the accompanying feeling of being a “bad person” when my grandfather died. In my case, it took many years to come to terms with it. In retrospect, un-dx-ed autism/adhd most likely played a role. I didn’t express emotions the way I was “supposed to”, so most acted like I didn’t have any 🙃


zaklittle t1_j0domjj wrote

As I poked through the dusty, worn boxes and moth-eaten garments collected through a life spanning 100 years, I was reminded as if in a dream, of words whispered by the loving old lady to the grandson she adored sitting in the kitchen drinking hot chocolate and playing cards.

"James, it wasn't easy leaving the home country in a hurry, you know".

"I can't imagine grandma", I say. "We are learning about the war at school".

"Well it wasn't, and we couldn't bring much but I grabbed a few treasures I couldn't leave without", she says with a glazed look and a mouth that in the right light could have been a smile or a frown. as if remembering times unspeakable.

As the memory fluttered through my head, I just happened to move a suitcase, surely bought in the sixties, to reveal a black leather trunk. Cracked and worn but cleaner and more cared for than the rest of the 'treasures' up here.

"Oh wow", I gasped to myself, "this must have been what the old girl had told me about some 30 years ago".

I ran my hand over the embossed leather, tracing the letters that formed my grandmothers initials and maiden name. The cracks had robbed the truck it's true glory and made picking out the other words hard

A . . . I T - . A C . T - F R . I - E T H E L - B - B L O O M E N K O F T - W . . F . N - S - S

my curiosity peaked as the brass lock dropped open at the slight touch. I nervously lifted the lid and my mind raced with ruby and diamond. Gold and silver.

"Oh dear god", I uttered as I dropped the trunk lid. "Grandma was a nazi"